Donald Trump may have a big delegate lead, but [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, acknowledged Monday the campaign has “narrowed our VP candidates to a short list and are going thru the normal processes associated with picking a running mate.”
This comes amid speculation that Cruz, in need of a game-changer, could do as Ronald Reagan did in 1976 and go ahead and name a running mate. Should he do this, Cruz would need to pick someone who not only would garner positive attention for him, but would help him win a contested convention in Cleveland this summer and help him win over skeptical members of the GOP establishment.
Here are six potential people the Texas senator might be considering:
NAME: Carly Fiorina
POSITION: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, former 2016 presidential candidate
THE THINKING HERE: We know Fiorina is already being vetted by Cruz’s campaign. Since endorsing Cruz, she has been a surrogate for him on the campaign trail. She’s articulate and an effective attacker of Hillary Clinton. And she won the Republican nomination in 2010 for the Senate in California — a state Cruz needs to stop Trump from winning on June 7.
NAME: Mike Pence
POSITION: Governor of Indiana, former congressman
THE THINKING HERE: The next big state after Tuesday’s contests will be next week’s primary in Indiana. Choosing Pence could help Cruz deprive Trump of a victory in the Hoosier State, making it more difficult for the New York businessman to win a majority of delegates before the convention. Pence was in the House Republican leadership before running for governor but is also popular with tea partiers and social conservatives.
NAME: Nikki Haley
POSITION: Governor of South Carolina
THE THINKING HERE: Frequently mentioned as possible running mate, Haley offered her support to Cruz after the first candidate she endorsed, [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], dropped out of the race. Earlier this year, she said she was open to being vice president, saying: “If a candidate wanted to sit down and talk, I would sit down and talk.”
NAME: Scott Walker
POSITION: Governor of Wisconsin, former 2016 presidential candidate
THE THINKING HERE: Walker, who endorsed Cruz ahead of the Texas senator’s win in the Wisconsin primary, could help generate buzz for Cruz while encouraging delegates at the Republican National Convention to back the Texas senator at a contested convention.
NAME: Marco Rubio
POSITION: Florida senator, former 2016 presidential candidate
THE THINKING HERE: Like Walker, Rubio joining the ticket with Cruz could help the Texas senator win over delegates at a contested convention. The Florida senator, who is retiring this year and has no post-Senate plans, was vetted by Mitt Romney in 2012, is popular with the RNC’s establishment and is from a crucial swing state.
NAME: John Kasich
POSITION: Ohio senator, 2016 Republican presidential candidate
THE THINKING HERE: Kasich entered into an alliance with Cruz to help each other win states to keep Trump from winning a majority of delegates. Cruz could decide to offer Kasich the running mate slot to try to consolidate the anti-Trump vote in the remaining primaries and at the convention. And Kasich hails from the all-important swing state of Ohio.